Could we seed life on another planet? © iStock

Could we seed life on another planet?

We could, but does that fit with the Prime Directive set out in Star Trek?

Asked by: Eoghan Lumsden, Dublin

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Quite possibly – and preventing it from happening has long been a key concern in interplanetary exploration. In 1964, the Committee on Space Research required that nations take care to sterilise space probes to minimise the risk of contamination by Earth-based organisms. As a result, probes are routinely treated with heat, radiation and disinfectants before launch.


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